At Career and Professional Development, we strongly believe that internships provide invaluable opportunities for skill development and career discernment. Over 95% of incoming freshmen each year indicate that they intend to complete at least one internship as part of their LMU educational experience. An internship is a transformative educational experience in which students take on meaningful responsibilities within an organization and contribute to its.
Definitions and Guidelines
While structures and functions vary between internship positions and between organizations, CPD and LMU promote a commitment from all parties to a student’s growth and development. All internships – paid and unpaid, for-credit and not-for-credit – are expected to promote the following skills and abilities on the part of the student:
- Student will be able to articulate the purpose and definition of an internship as outlined by NACE (the National Association of Colleges and Employers).
- Student will be able to explain the difference between internships, part-time work and volunteerism.
- Student will be able to articulate at least one benefit of performing an internship.
- Student will be able to collect at least one professional contact through networking.
- Student will be able to recite LMU workplace sexual harassment and discrimination policies.
- Student will be able to apply classroom theory to workplace situations.
- Student will be able to document their internship experience via the online process.
- Student will be able to reflect on and evaluate their internship experience via evaluations.
Department of Labor Criteria
According to the Department of Labor [pdf], the following six legal criteria must be applied when making a determination if an internship can be offered unpaid:
- The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment.
- The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.
- The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff with expertise.
- The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operation may actually be impeded.
- The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.
- The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internships.
Find an Internship
- Prepare a resume and cover letter
- Visit CPD for drop-in career coaching with a Peer Advisor, or schedule an appointment via Handshake to meet with a professional Career Coach
- Explore Handshake for internship positions at companies hoping to host LMU interns and check out our resource list of other internship sites
- Visit CPD’s list of Internships by Interest Area, and consult a CPD career coach on how to use them strategically
Q: Do I need to earn academic credit in order to do an internship?
A: No. Some employers do require that you be enrolled in an internship course in order for the employer to hire you as an intern. However, this is not a legal or LMU requirement.
Q: How do I register for an internship course?
A: All course registrations are done via PROWL during regular course registration periods. If you have missed the deadline to add a course, you must complete a General Petition [pdf] to add the course.
Q: What if my academic department does not offer an internship course?
A: Consult with your academic advisor. All students have the option of enrolling in a 0- to 3-credit LIBA course, which are offered each semester. Consult PROWL to find out which courses are being offered and when.
Q: My internship supervisor wants proof that I am enrolled in an internship course. How can I provide this?
A: To provide an internship supervisor with proof of course enrollment, use the Internship Credit Confirmation Form.
Q: Which internship course do I choose?
A: To ensure that you are making the best choices in working toward your academic goals, be sure to consult your academic advisor.
Q: How can I expect to be compensated for my internship?
A: Compensation for internships is at the discretion of the employer, but generally internships can be unpaid, paid via an hourly wage, or paid via a stipend. Unpaid and stipend-paid internships must meet the Department of Labor guidelines for unpaid internships.
- To register for an internship course and earn credit for your internship, use PROWL
- To provide an internship supervisor with proof of course enrollment (if requested), use the Internship Credit Confirmation Form
- Once you have confirmed your internship placement and received instructions from your course instructor, complete the Request an Experience Form